Casinos in Macau told to cut on-duty staff by 90%

By Louis Thompsett

Macau’s gaming regulator, the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, has told casino operators to reduce their level of on-duty staff by 90%. 

The request for a reduction comes as Macau suffers its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the pandemic first struck in early 2020. 

The order comes as part of a wider directive for casino operators to temporarily cut overall operating levels by 10%, ensuring large swathes of workers are surplus to requirements. 

Although just a temporary measure to help curb infection rates, the move represents a significant pinch to Macau’s casino workers and its executives. 

However, so far as local sources can tell, the staff reduction is tentatively in place from 1 July to 8 July 2022. It can be assumed, though, that this timeframe may widen should Macau’s Covid-19 rates continue to rise. 

As of yet, these measures are unconfirmed by Macau’s Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau. A public announcement is expected imminently, though. 

On 30 June 2022, Macau announced it had dropped a requirement for the region’s construction and casino workers, to submit a negative nucleic acid Covid test every 48 hours. 

Instead, workers are required to submit results of rapid antigen tests, which are far easier to take.  

The decision was made after crowds of workers queued for nucleic acid tests, resulting in disorderly scenes in which many workers were condensed around testing sites.  

At the last count, taken on 30 June 2022, Macau’s infection rate reached 638, an increase of 66 infections in 24 hours.  

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